Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Wood arrow dyes-stains-paints-etc..?

Messages posted to thread:
Riverwolf 08-Dec-21
M60gunner 08-Dec-21
Jeff Durnell 08-Dec-21
Boker 08-Dec-21
cut it out 08-Dec-21
cut it out 08-Dec-21
Riverwolf 08-Dec-21
Randog 08-Dec-21
cut it out 08-Dec-21
Scoop 08-Dec-21
Bowlim 08-Dec-21
Riverwolf 08-Dec-21
Jeff Durnell 08-Dec-21
bigjohnmissalot 08-Dec-21
flint kemper 08-Dec-21
Taz 08-Dec-21
Kelly 08-Dec-21
Bill Rickvalsky 08-Dec-21
Riverwolf 08-Dec-21
Scoop 08-Dec-21
The Lost Mohican 08-Dec-21
The Whittler 08-Dec-21
The Whittler 08-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 08-Dec-21
wooddamon1 09-Dec-21
wooddamon1 09-Dec-21
wooddamon1 09-Dec-21
Riverwolf 09-Dec-21
reddogge 09-Dec-21
sir misalots 09-Dec-21
Scoop 09-Dec-21
bustedarrow2 09-Dec-21
George Tsoukalas 09-Dec-21
Riverwolf 10-Dec-21
mgmicky 10-Dec-21
dhaverstick 10-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 10-Dec-21
George Tsoukalas 10-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 10-Dec-21
Riverwolf 10-Dec-21
Jeff Durnell 10-Dec-21
Riverwolf 11-Dec-21
From: Riverwolf
Date: 08-Dec-21




After "interrupting" another thread ;) I thought it proper to start one for wood arrow smiths to help us less knowledgeable folk along some...If you would so kindly ;)

Myself, I have worked a lot of wood trim start to finish...but lack in wood arrows. Big difference between the two task;)

I'm wanting to dive in bad with wood arrows again...I'm wanting durability in my components .

So help me out if you will with some of what/how you go about it . As in type dye- stain--used with what type clear and fletch glue as a system. Soooo many choices , and the cost of each component makes a lot of experimentation ...well...costly.

I'm looking to do some Douglas Fir ...Osage (aged honey) and clear (dip or other) and usually use gorilla super glue blue for nocks- fletching, but some other types of shafting ain't out of the picture;)....So what are you gents (and gals) preferences ? Pictures if you got them ;)

Thank you all in advance !

From: M60gunner
Date: 08-Dec-21




I used the same stains I use for wood working, Min-Wax. Only difference these days is I use waterbased stain and finish. Maybe not as durable as oil based but doesn’t have as much if any target burn.

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 08-Dec-21

Jeff Durnell's embedded Photo



Simplicity and longevity is my preference when it comes to arrow making. Hickory arrows, Minwax stain or aniline dyes, and then I wipe on plain old Minwax gloss polyurethane. Dries in minutes to a satin finish.

I buy or make parallel shafts and then taper them by hand with a cabinet scraper and sandpaper, barrel, breast, or single. For feathers I like plain turkey feathers, sometimes I splice white on the tail end with an inch or two of white paint and a white nock for visibility. I've been using Bohning fletch tape. No complaints there.

My arrows aren't costly... at all, amost free, because I cut and season my own hickory and use feathers my friends and I collect. Hickory shafts are almost bomb proof and can last many years.

From: Boker
Date: 08-Dec-21




I aint no where near as Experienced buikfing wood arrows as these other guys so take what i say with a grain of salt.

But i used water based everything in the few sets i done and am pleased. I bushed or wiped on on shaft minwax Water based stain from lowes.

Used water base polycrylic sealer. 50:50 ratio. Diped in diy dip tube.

Used acrylic paint from hobby lobby for cresting and crown craps.

I have brushed on several costs for a solid color and thinned as a colored stain appearance.

Through trial and error u learned it needs to be pretty thin to use for cresting lines but worked good once i got it just right.

tried the paint pens as well. Some colors worked good others not so much.

I have put my wood arrow building to the side but ready to get back at it.

The best i can tell what materials you use really depends on the look you want.

I wanted easy convenience of local supplies, less toxic chemicals since i am working in my home.

What i had in mind at the beginning isn't really how mine turned out but the more i did the more i learned to appreciate other styles like a stained crown look etc.

From my own experience I believe theres no way to avoid some trial and error, and even if i could have id be missing out on learning my own style.

From: cut it out
Date: 08-Dec-21

cut it out's embedded Photo



I also just use min wax prosecutes for stains and poly. For crests just use testors mosdel paint. I use A AND B epoxy for points and knocks and fletchtite for feathers.

From: cut it out
Date: 08-Dec-21

cut it out's embedded Photo



From: Riverwolf
Date: 08-Dec-21




..beautiful arrows all. Thank you for sharing your preferences and experience ! Anyone have some aged osage color stained shafts ?

I'm also trying to settle on a dye-stain in that range of color. I'm not against no stain , just straight clear coats but really like that color shafts ;)

I did some cedars a few yrs back mixing my own stain/paint blend...I ended up with a more "fresh cut" osage than aged honey , but not bad.

From: Randog
Date: 08-Dec-21




Good lookin arrows Tim.

From: cut it out
Date: 08-Dec-21

cut it out's embedded Photo



Thanks Randy.

Ralph Not sure if you’ve seen this but on 3 rivers sight under alcohol stains the One looks like aged Osage in a way to me anyways. Never used it but just passing it on as a option.

From: Scoop Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 08-Dec-21

Scoop's embedded Photo



Riverwolf, all these shafts are Doug fir. The center two are osage, with the darker one on the right a slight mix of walnut. The four on the outside left and right are walnut husk stain. I use gasket lacquer from four to seven dips, along with Duco Cement for the nocks and feathers.

The stains really make the grain snap out on Doug fir. These are just "using" arrows, but a set of the bright yellow osage stained, with 4-inch red and yellow barred four fletch shields may just be my favorite. I also will stain the nock and point ends when I taper shafts with osage and use walnut for the main body portion.

Good luck and enjoy.

From: Bowlim
Date: 08-Dec-21




I would use paint for fancy work, and have in the past. But I like practical wooden arrows as they are already viewed an impractical as it is. Investing a lot of labor is fine for people who aren't building bows, and rods, and boats, etc...

I take the shafts and stain them with aniline dye. I like an all red shaft, with yellow fletches. I also use grey black when I need an arrow that I will not be able to find again.

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/supplies/finishing/wood-stains/20082-intense-aniline-mixing-colors?item=56Z0801

These make up a ton of dye, but at these prices, I might be inclined to try something different another time. They last for ever if not mixed.

I coat with water based varnish, often valspar diamond finish. And use fletchtite.

For super cheap arrows, I glue the fletches to the wood, and wax the shafts with minwax. Another option is to apply shellac and wax over that. Don't try to apply fletches over wax.

From: Riverwolf
Date: 08-Dec-21




Thanks Tim That is pretty close for sure. how do you guys feel about alcohol stains compared to dyes and using various clear coats ?

Boker, that is kinda how I did the cedars I did with the dip tube and polycrylic...Easy to apply though I got some burn of foam and some other targets. Did a pretty good finish though, and pretty cheap in cost. Thank you for the time and info my friend .

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 08-Dec-21




In the above pic, aged osage can be arrow D, C or B.

Ralph, on stuff that matters to me like bows, I ALWAYS use aniline dyes, never stains. Commercial stains muddle wood grain, looks meh, generic. Anilines highlights it and gives it depth. And if you feel inclinded to tastefully fade and blend dye colors, yeah baby. Good stuff. I should probably invest myself more into my next batch of arrows.

From: bigjohnmissalot
Date: 08-Dec-21




https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8nNNt-pbj2HyTfLqh5tjw/videos

From: flint kemper
Date: 08-Dec-21




Kelly Peterson used to make beautiful arrows with stain allow of them he mixed himself.

From: Taz
Date: 08-Dec-21




I used to char the shafts with a propane torch lightly , made em look camo , then lightly hit with fine steel wool . Dip ,crest and seal with Trewax, a hard floor wax

From: Kelly
Date: 08-Dec-21




Hi Flint, what are you doing in Texas?

I used Rit Dye, the stuff one uses for dyeing material. Anything that is water soluble is also alcohol soluble (de natured alcohol). The secret to making very different looking stains is multiple dips of different colors after the first color is dried and excess wiped off. The longer one lets a stain dry before wiping the deeper the color.

If I was doing aged Osage try some sort of lite brown stain, wipe off fairly quickly after color has set in the grain, then let them dry. Now take a deep yellow and add the stain over the previous dried brown stain and let it dry quite a while before wiping getter a deeper yellow hue in the areas between the grain.

I always dipped my shafts together a more uniform coverage but you can wipe it on too. Sorry don’t have any examples these days as I’m into full length painted shafts like white and yellow because I can get color and waterproof eyes in one type of application, albeit many coats still.

For long lasting, waterproof finish use oil based polyurethane or enamel but it takes longer for finish to throughly dry/cure.

The secret to any durable finish is multiple thin coats letting them dry/cure before adding another. 4-7 thin coats are way better than 1-2 thick coats. Sorry but IMO one can not apply a durable finish on a shaft by wiping it on, dipping is the only way..

From: Bill Rickvalsky
Date: 08-Dec-21




If you are looking for an inexpensive stain for wood arrows that does a really nice job go to your local grocery or Walmart. Pick up some Rit dye. Mix it with alcohol to whatever color saturation level pleases you. Wipe it on. You can easily do fades from color to color.

If you can't find a color you want you can mix two colors to get something else.

I've used Rit dye in alcohol for many years. I seal it with water based poly from Minwax. I still shoot arrows I finished 15 to 20 years ago.

From: Riverwolf
Date: 08-Dec-21




All Good stuff ;)

Thank you gentlemen for taking the time to share your thought's , experience , knowledge and a few pictures. It is greatly appreciated !

Mark (Scoop), for the osage . Are you using osage wood made stain(I've done that for a stain for other stuff) or using ? I have also used my share of walnut hulls over a lot of years...makes a excellent trap dye ...and does a good job on skin also ;^)) That one on the right is real close ! I was thinking Fir grain would look nice highlighted .Going by those examples I was correct;) Beauties !

From: Scoop Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 08-Dec-21




Ralph, the osage I'm using is called TransTint honey amber. It is dye-stain and mixes with water (or alcohol). My brother in Oregon picked it up for me in a craft store and mine came in a 2-oz. liquid form in a plastic container like a big glue bottle. There is enough in there to last the rest of my lifetime. A few drops goes a long ways in a bit of water.

I'm interested in what Kelly had to say, too. We can tell what you'll be doing this winter! You'll have to post some pictures.

From: The Lost Mohican
Date: 08-Dec-21




Riverwolf,

Many thanks for redirecting our wanderings to this thread.

Im interested in moving away from the lacquers I've used for years.

Any downsides to the aniline dyes vapor wise?

The colors on the past thread were outstanding especially the light blue colors by Saddlehill.

Thanks again TLM

From: The Whittler
Date: 08-Dec-21




Use water base paint any color and cut it with water, half water half paint works like a stain.

From: The Whittler
Date: 08-Dec-21




Use water base paint any color and cut it with water, half water half paint works like a stain.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 08-Dec-21




Polycrylic, smooth with 0000 steel wool, crest, polycrylic. I used to go way fancier but quit that a long time ago. I flamed some hickory shafts until they got a light tan. Then rubbed in graphite to accentuate the grain, wiped excess off with lacquer thinner, the applied finish.

From: wooddamon1 Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Dec-21

wooddamon1's embedded Photo



Here's the stuff I used, found it on the big "A"

From: wooddamon1 Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Dec-21

wooddamon1's embedded Photo



Here's the stuff I used, found it on the big "A"

From: wooddamon1 Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Dec-21




Oops. Came with primary colors for mixing to get whatever color you want. I mixed it with water.

From: Riverwolf
Date: 09-Dec-21




EXCELLENT ;) Love these type "sharing" threads...Learn an "Old Wolf" a few new tricks ;^)) Thank you all ! ....and "please" keep them coming.....

From: reddogge
Date: 09-Dec-21




Behlen makes an excellent assortment of aniline dyes. I bought mine at a woodworkers store. I've also used aniline dyes from Tandy leather. No odor what so ever and you can recoat to darken or rub with alcohol to lighten after it dries, something that is hard to do with oil based stains.

From: sir misalots
Date: 09-Dec-21




the spice tumeric does well.

From: Scoop Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 09-Dec-21




I also saw some chokecherry-stained shafts a friend did. Looked pretty good.

From: bustedarrow2
Date: 09-Dec-21

bustedarrow2's embedded Photo



Testors paints , spray paint , and a water borne poly. A few steps but pretty and durable .

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 09-Dec-21




I use water based products, I also use Rit Dye dissolved in alcohol on hickory bows. Easy clean up, easy on me and easy on the evvironment. Jawge

From: Riverwolf
Date: 10-Dec-21




Beautiful arrows Matt !What is the cedar/osage color on the lower shafts ?

From: mgmicky
Date: 10-Dec-21




This is all good info —I’m going to make my first set of arrows this winter. Has anyone used black walnut as a dye? I’ve got a bunch around the house and they stain everything so I thought about trying them on arrows

From: dhaverstick Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Dec-21




I used aniline dyes, paint pens, and permanent markers to color my shafts. I dip the shafts in satin finish polyurethane for several coats, sanding with steel wool in between each coat. To glue on nocks and fletching, I use Duco Cement.

Darren

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 10-Dec-21




Making arrows from scratch is very satisfying. I've made probably about 1000 shafts from boards since 2004. Rip to 1/2" squares and spin the rip through a Veritas doweler using a high speed drill, and spin sand to spine.

I'm a carpenter and have a lot of tools. If I were to add up the cost of all the tools I use to make arrows, I might be breaking even at 1000 shafts. Aside from a tablesaw and belt sander, factor in the cost of the wood and arrow specific tools, the Veritas doweler and 3/8ths insert, the ACE spin spine tool, the Bohning crester, the Woodchuck, I might just about be breaking even at 1000 shafts, as opposed to just buying spined shafts that are already tapered.

But you can't put a price on the satisfaction of rolling your own.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 10-Dec-21




I did a write up on my site on making arrows.

http://traditionalarchery101.com/simplearrow.html

Jawge

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 10-Dec-21




Thanks George!

From: Riverwolf
Date: 10-Dec-21




Sorry Matt, I can see now you used Testors Acrylic paints to achieve the Osage color.

How are the dry times with the acrylic paint before dipping/finish ?

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 10-Dec-21




Mgmicky, I've made stain from walnut hulls. It works good. Mix it very strong. It will fade over time, like most other natural stains. Pokeberry is nice too. Starts deep purple, fades over the years to a nice pale lilac.

I tend to have more reverence for natural colorings. Color me romantic.

From: Riverwolf
Date: 11-Dec-21




Just Wanted to take a moment to "THANK EVERYONE" that took the time to share pictures knowledge, thoughts, and know how on this process.

Knowledge is a great thing , sharing it is even greater ;)

Thank you !





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